NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA– As many of us find creative ways to utilize all of the free time we now have, one musicians decided to take the opportunity to record an album and if necessity is the mother of invention, surely with all of the world’s needs caused by the coronavirus, invention and creativity should be ripe for the picking.
The Grammy-award-winning Nicholas Payton is no stranger to pushing the envelope. He is known just as much for his virtuoso playing and also for his unique stance on music. For him, there is no such thing as jazz, blues, soul, hip-hop and gospel. Instead, all of these genres should be reclassified in your individual playlists and record store cards as “B.A.M.”–Black American Music. He always welcomes a lively debate when the word jazz is used.
In these curious days of the coronavirus, Nick just like the many other brilliant musicians in New Orleans, find themselves in need of help. The bars are closed and the gigs are cancelled as Crescent City grapples with the idea of social distancing.
It’s at this time, that Nick sees the opportunity to use music to heal, saying, “As artists I think we have a lot of responsibility to take this current social and economic situation and make art from it in the same way that Marvin Gaye did with What’s Going On. So I’m working on a new album, “Quarantined with Nick.” It’s a spoof off another album called Relaxing with Nick. This record provided me an opportunity to do a project with some of my friends and New Orleanians, Cliff Hines and Sasha Masakowski.”
Every high school physics student knows that sound waves travel and therefore they must be able to travel beyond the social distance, even when the reality of the world seems more like science fiction than truth. These stellar and futuristic vibes come through shining in the music of this album.
“It’s strange man, very electronic but there is also a live sensibility to it. Cliff plays modular synthesizer which looks like Star Trek or the mother board, so it has a very hip-hop and dj element to it. We have a lot of free time on our hands now, so we can get this project done,” assures Nick.
New Orleans has always been adept at keeping it’s feet on the Sunny Side of the Street. At a time, when Mardi Gras Indians should be announcing their presence on St. Joseph’s Day, when normally the excitement of the festival season bubbles over and crawfish in the park should be happening everyday, Nicholas’ album is more than just ‘”B.A.M.” music; it is the hope that after the coronavirus has it’s time in the spotlight, it will take a step back and let love shine once again on the stage. It will take more than a virus to mute New Orleans’ microphones, but nonetheless, it is still a challenging time for musicians who depend on the finances of festivals, weekly gigs and tourism to make a living. “Well Jazz Fest was coming up but now it’s been rescheduled to later in the year, so that is going to be quite the blow to a lot of musicians. Most musicians are figuring out how to survive and put forth their work in this climate. People should support the arts, more now than ever. Buy albums directly from the artists and keep them fed and the music alive.”
Make sure you are on the lookout for the release of “Quarantined With. Nick;” and take this time to let your restrictions inspire you to greatness.